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Friday Hypothetical #2: The Meteor


Another fun hypothetical dilemma from Chuck Klosterman’s game “Hypertheticals” which can be found HERE

Earth is about to be struck by an enormous meteor. Though no one knows exactly what will happen, most scientists assume life on Earth will be totally altered and potentially eliminated. Everyone on the planet is freaking out. Suddenly, you receive a bizarre e-mail: The government demands you must fly to Washington D.C., immediately, by order of the President. The e-mail message includes a first-class plane ticket.

Once you arrive at Dulles Airport, military police confiscate your cell phone and wordlessly transport you to a secret hangar that houses 10 massive space shuttles. You are escorted onto one of the ships. Meteor shuttleNot counting the crew, there are 24 equally confused people waiting on board. You recognize a few of these people instantly: Bill Gates, the musician Prince, and Oprah Winfrey. When the individuals you don’t recognize begin talking and interacting with one another, it becomes clear that all of them are brilliant scientists, consequential artists, or extremely wealthy political figures.

The ship’s captain informs all of the passengers that the space shuttle will be leaving Earth in two hours. He does not say where it’s going, although he does insist that anyone who wants to remain on Earth is free to stay behind.

You are 90 percent certain you’ve been selected for this trip by mistake. Do you remain on board? And-if you do- how will you explain your presence to the other 24 passengers? You have no idea if admitting your true identity will disqualify you from traveling.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!



  1. my family wasn’t on the shuttle – i’m going back..

  2. Well I couldn’t leave my husband. I think I’d just go home! 🙂

  3. I’m sure other will point out that the shuttles have to launch from Kennedy Space facility in Florida. That said, My take would be there was no mistake. Though the other passenger choices appear more obvious there is no reason why I should not be there.The reason, the choice of the final person was totally random and I was the lucky guy.

    • Wait a minute Chuck, did you say Prince? I’m definitely getting off. Could we substitute him for say Bob Dylan?

  4. I’d leave the spaceship – even if the invitation was intended for me. I would definitely rather be with my closest family at ‘the end’, than running away with rich public figures.

  5. I’d say …

    “Howdy crew, I’m Garrett. You probably don’t know this yet, but I’m about to save the world. And I’m a Mormon.”

  6. what the hell! might as well go, what can they do? Send you back.

  7. There’s no mistake. I’m definitely worth saving… for humanity’s sake.

  8. Cathy McIntosh

    I would thank them for the honor, say goodbye, head home to throw a fantastic barbecue; there is nothing I can do to stop it so I will enjoy my family and share my appreciation for all of the gifts they bring into my life.

  9. Why so sure it’s a mistake? I’d get on the ship and make it happen.

  10. I wouldnt leave the space-ship but I would declare my true identity because I would think among all these succesfull people / maybe they have chosen a regular person FOR a accırate purpose OR / FOR my one of the qualities that they thought is important to preseserve for the human race such as my love to nature and animals or my knowledge of human psychology or etc

  11. Maybe you assume it would be a mistake…

  12. I would feel that there must be something I am suppose to contribute to make it better for the future of humanity. If I stayed I would be destroyed with my family. They will be destroyed anyway, so the least I could do is to accept the challenge and live on in their honor.

  13. I’d tell them I had no idea why I was there and ask to get off ………. I know I’m not rich or famous or brilliant so I’m outta there! If all this is a super cool deal, I’ll read about it in the papers. Besides I don’t much care for our current President, so I’m not risking my life for him no matter who he is.

  14. oy. tough call. At first in my selfish voice I said “yea! I’m in! I’m special! I wanna go!” but then the comments above made me come to a screeching halt. I’d have to stay on earth with my family.

  15. It’s oppurtuntiy one should take it.. All of 24 people had similar life expirence to be such personality.

  16. Cheryl Montgomery-Nolan

    I would stay on the ship because I would trust that I was there for a reason I do not yet understand.

  17. Where are these “Wealthy. Smart, Important” people going? A trip to the unknown? I’m off the ship and home with “Family”, we travel together!

  18. The musician Prince wasn’t a mistake? (j/k altho I’d want to be sure Santana was on another shuttle!)
    I think I would tell someone that they must have made a mistake and have me confused with someone else. If the “survivors” are supposed to rebuild a new world and were selected based on their intelligence or contribution to society, I’d rather be certain that I belonged there than feel that I was there (or actually be there) by mistake, and not be able contribute as they expect me to. While my contributions to the world have been small and mostly anonymous… I’m not so sure they would qualify me for one of the ten “escape pods.”

  19. Stay onboard!!

  20. If I didn’t have my husband, kids or grand kids, I wouldn’t really care to live.

  21. It would be the trip of my life, definitively. It would be an honor or to travel no matter where with such a brilliant people.

  22. I would finally have the opportunity to say, “I’m a pilot. I can fly.” (I’m hoping some of you catch the reference.)

  23. Not a chance … I would not have flown to Washington DC. I would never leave my kids and pets … if they are going to die … so am I !!! ♥

  24. I am that one presence which binds everyone together and makes sure that its a amicable, patient and positive enviornment.
    My true identity is that- of a normal person who is very aware of their presence and effect and makes full use of the way they are in balancing and harmonising the people who are the best in one thing or the other, but fail to seperate themselves from what they have achieved and who they are.

  25. Too hypothetical to answer really. I’d prefer being with family. I’d probably end up being part of the “wait staff” for all the rich an famous!!

  26. No Family — no interest in staying on board ! Let me off

  27. I would believe The Lord Jesus Christ put me on that ship to share the Gospel one last time to them that “don’t have a clue”!

  28. I’d ask them why I am there and if there was a mistake. Straight up seems best to me.

  29. off the shuttle. spend the last days with people i love and enjoy, listen to music, eat good food, go see some things i have always wanted to see. i’m not really interested in living in seclusion, or on a shuttle, or whatever. and all those high profile people? while it might be a hoot initially, to hang with them, i bet after a bit, when they have to wash their own dishes, and fix their own food, and go without all the perks they have gotten used to, they would become crabby. and that’s no fun.

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